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Midday Fix: Momma Cuisine’s Johanna Cook makes creamy polenta and pork and beans

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Momma Cuisine
www.mommacuisine.com

Event:
Good Food Festival
March 15
UIC Pavilion
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
www.goodfoodfestivals.com

Creamy Polenta

Ingredients
1.5 cups of polenta – yellow cornmeal
2 cups of whole milk
3 cups of water
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/3 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:
Bring the milk and water to a boil in a large sauce pot with salt and pepper. After it comes to a boil, slowly add the corn meal, whisking it to make sure the corn meal doesn’t have any lumps. Continue to stir for about 15-20 minutes, until the corn meal is tender. Taste for flavor. If the consistency is too thick, add some more water; about 1/4 cup at a time. Add the butter and Parmesan cheese and stir gently. Serve

Pork & Beans

Ingredients:
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 pound pork neck bones or pork ribs
2 teaspoons kosher salt
fresh cracked pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumen
1 medium Spanish or yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 dried bay leaves
1 cup dry beans
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups chicken broth
1 Roma/plum tomato, diced

Directions:
Take a large pot or Dutch oven and heat it to medium-high with olive oil. Take the pork and season with salt, pepper and cumen and brown in the oil. Once the pork has a brown outer crust, add the onions, bell peppers and garlic. Saute the ingredients until softened, then add the bay leaves and split peas. Saute together for about 1 minute then add the Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Cover with beef broth and add diced tomatoes, stir together and bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil, bring the heat down to medium, medium-low and simmer gently for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the peas are plump and tender. Stir occasionally to prevent the peas from sticking to the bottom. Taste for flavor, and serve.

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